DERRICK ROSE, Chicago Bulls
The slow start after a season off from ACL surgery had to be expected, but a hamstring and neck injury combined with some turf toe that Rose admitted has been bothering him since 2012 has those that invested a first rounder in the former MVP in full-out panic mode. That’s why it’s the perfect time to strike a deal. Averaging only 15.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists, Rose isn’t coming close to reaching expectations, but if you’re willing to sit and wait for production, snag him from someone who isn’t.
J.R. SMITH, New York Knicks
Smith has never had the best shot selection, but 31 percent from the field is bad, even by his standards. However, this cold streak won’t last forever. Keep in mind that Smith started the season five games after everyone else, so he still needs to find his rhythm. Coupled with the fact that New York doesn’t have too many other scoring options besides ‘Melo, and it’s easy to see that last year’s Sixth Man of the Year will be back to his old self in no time. For now, he can be had on the cheap.
VICTOR OLADIPO, Orlando Magic
Oladipo was promoted to the starting lineup on Wednesday night, so his buy low window may have closed, but for someone garnering so much hype in the preseason, he hasn’t really met expectations. Unless Jameer Nelson is traded, major minutes are going to be hard to come by for the rookie, and impatient owners may be willing to part with someone who is averaging just 12.5 points on 39 percent shooting from the field. At the very least, an offer is worth a shot.
GREIVIS VASQUEZ, Sacramento Kings
Vasquez’s slow start is attributed more to the hot play of Isaiah Thomas than his own failures, but now is still the best time to buy low. His percentages are a thing of beauty, at 47 percent from the field and 92 percent from the line, but his treys (0.8 per game), points (10.5), rebounds (2.2), assists (5.4) and steals (0.5) will all come up in no time. The Kings aren’t known for pushing the pace, but Vasquez can put up numbers in any system.
ARRON AFFLALO, Orlando Magic
Afflalo averages 10.2 points per game on his career, so the 22.5 he’s putting up right now is probably a little fluky. He’s a good player, but is playing way over his head right now. Eventually, the Magic are going to go with a full-out youth movement, and Afflalo may become a victim of that, whether it’s by trade or loss of minutes. The time to sell is now, before it’s too late.
KYLE KORVER, Atlanta Hawks
There’s no doubt in my mind that Korver can average the 2.7 treys and flawless percentages that he’s putting up right now over the course of a full season, but I’m concerned about the 34 minutes a night he’s getting more than anything. An increase of minutes at age 32 spells disaster, whether it’s by injury or running out of steam by the end of the year. With Lou Williams being eased into action, now is the best time to flip one of your later picks in to something more stable.
ANDREA BARGNANI, New York Knicks
Bargnani has won over Knicks fans with his hot play of late, but it will only last as long as Tyson Chandler‘s absence. The treys and blocks will always be there, but when the two bigs are both healthy, there won’t be enough center minutes to go around for everyone. He was barely able to get his shot off while the two were on the floor together, so it’s best to sell now while the light can’t be seen at the end of Chandler’s tunnel.
JEREMY LIN, Houston Rockets
Lin was averaging more than 18 points and five assists before Wednesday’s clunker, but he’s still shattering early season expectations and needs to be sold before his numbers come back down to Earth. Patrick Beverley is still better for the team in the long run because of his defensive capabilities, so Lin may lose out on time as soon as he cools off. The time to sell is now.
What deals are you looking to make?
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